CHANDIGARH: The Golden Temple in Amritsar has been certified the most visited religious place in the world by the UK-based World Book of Records (WBR), which is second only to Guinness World Records.
WBR representatives in India have handed the certificate to the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee chief secretary, Dr Roop Singh. He received the certificate from WBR general secretary Surbhi Kaul and Punjab unit head Randeep Singh Kohli on Friday.
“After recording the footfall for the past three months, we decided to certify the Golden Temple as the most visited place for the current year,” said Kaul.
The organisation does a survey every year after which rankings are given according to footfall. Apart from the Golden Temple, the Vaishno Devi temple, Sri Sai Baba Temple and Taj Mahal have won the first position this year.
About 50,000 visitors visit the Vaishno Devi and Sai Baba temples daily. The Taj Mahal has a daily footfall of 20,000-25,0000. The Golden Temple, however, draws one lakh visitors daily on weekdays. On weekends and for religious occasions, the footfall is between 1.50 lakh and two lakh.
Sources said the WBR survey was done three months ago. It was found that one lakh people across religions visited the Golden Temple daily and almost everyone had food from the langar (community kitchen). The cleanliness and upkeep of the temple, as well as the kirtan that goes on round the clock were other contributory factors.
A few months ago, a Multimedia Interpretation Centre was inaugurated in the Golden Temple Plaza basement. It was constructed by the Punjab government at a cost of Rs 223 crore. It has four hi-tech galleries depicting the history of the Sikh religion and the Golden Temple. There are four studios that have 45-minute shows. A special-effects computerised light system has been put in place to greet devotees.
Piped compressed natural gas will soon replace LPG and wood as cooking fuel at the Guru Ram Dass langar hall in the temple. At present, around 100 LPG cylinders are used daily. A biogas plant will also be installed.